Monthly Archives: February 2015

Filling taxes..and USAF matters

I’m going for an interview later today, will see how that goes. There are so many jobs available online but you fill out tens and maybe just maybe get a couple of replies. That’s just the way it is. It’s expected when you are looking for a job.

I decided a couple of weeks ago to look for a home church. I’d neglected my spiritual needs for a minute and needed to get back on track. Working the night shift didn’t help much on that end. I got back from work tired and all I wanted to see was my bed. So I made a decision, if I didn’t make any effort nothing would change.

One morning after work I googled an Episcopal church in Houston. That’s what they call the Anglican church or Church of England. I got a few locations. Chose one that wasn’t too far from where I live and voila. I entered the address on my phone..see why I had to get a smart phone. In 20 minutes I was sitting in church and an early service was about to begin. I was proud of myself.

After the service, a lady and a gentleman approached and welcomed me to the church. Invited me for coffee and cookies, an after church meeting studying the books of the bible and I was sold. I felt welcome and accepted.

I’ve been going ever since.

I decided to reach out to my new friend in church and see what ideas he has about getting something to do while am waiting for the furlough to end. We made an appointment. Time is money my friend in this country and you have to set up time to meet. We had a breakfast meeting this morning.

Building a network is important in this country and I’m doing exactly that. And also going out of my comfort zone to make things happen. So far so good.

He had very good advise for me being a new comer to this country. He also advised me to file my taxes for free online on TurboTax or H&R Block. That is exactly what I did after I got home. My employment agency had already sent me a W2 . I used that and the online tool and I expect about $1200 back as tax refund. Not bad for me having working under 4 months last year. The deadline for filing is April 15 of every year. There is a joke in the US that goes, “there are 2 things that will happen in life, you will die and you will pay taxes”. I’m glad I’ve got that out of the way.

Off to a job interview. Hope something comes out of that. Wish me luck.

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Swearing in ceremony at the US Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in downtown Houston.

In other news, I’m now a member of the US Air Force. I’m an Airman. Will see, might write about that here someday..Sir Yes Sir 🙂 🙂 Representing my Kenyan hometown Gilgil (Home of the Kenyan Special Forces and 20th Parachute Battalion) to the fullest. Once a soldier boy always a soldier. 🙂 🙂

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Kenya Defence Forces 20th Para Battalion Green berets on a US training trip with the US Army. Photo courtesy of http://www.focusblog.ro/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/08140910.jpg

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Gilgil based 20th Para Battalion Green Berets. Photo Courtesy http://www.africa-shout.com

I am blessed and grateful to God for everything he’s done for me so far. Thank you to everyone who prays for me out there.

UPDATE: I got the job, pending as always the outcome of a drug test. Will see how that goes.

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More furlough

I’m on furlough again. There isn’t much work where I work and so we’ve been told to return in 2 months. 2 months..It’s a long time. I’m looking for something else to do until then. It’s an adjustment of sorts. I’ve gotten used to working at nights and now here I am having all the time in the world. My sleeping pattern is messed up. I’m used to sleeping in the afternoon and waking up just before 9. A few days and I should adjust. Bills bills bills..I have enough to take me through the furlough. Thank God I don’t have any debts to take care of. My car is paid off, utilities are not too bad either. I got the credit card. I’m currently using it and hopefully I’ll build credit as time goes. It only has a $300 limit which is not much but it can be the start of accumulating debt if you don’t watch it. I used about $200. Guess what. The credit company doesn’t mind me paying just $25..I was tempted to laugh. I’m paying it all. No minimums.

Will see what I’ll be doing for the next 8 weeks or so.

Winter is not over yet..It hit low 30s yesterday here in Houston. I’d nearly forgotten it was winter. It’s been warm and nice. I hope it won’t last for long.

Road trip pics

I took pictures on the way to and from Atlanta. Unfortunately I didn’t take any while I was in ATL. Why? I guess I was having too much fun and forgot all about the camera. Here are some of the photos on the road. I didn’t have much time to stop and take pictures all over the place. Took them most on the go. I tried to stop and take some of the state welcome signs though.

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ATL was fun..

I got back to Houston on Sunday night in time for superbowl’s last 2 crazy minutes where Seahawks lead was overturned and things went south fast for them.

The last time I wrote I was in Jacksonville, Florida. Spent a night there and early the next morning I hit the road headed north. I passed through Savannah, Georgia then entered South Carolina. It wasn’t far 3 hours.

I headed west for a while towards Columbia then north. I was aiming for North Carolina. South Carolina was the first hilly state I was encountering since I started my road trip. The scenery was beautiful and I was lucky there was no snow.

I made it to Charlotte, North Carolina in good time. I have to say the state line between the two was really in the Charlotte suburbs. Very near to the city. Reminded me of Kansas, Kansas and Kansas, Missouri.

I drove through the city and started my drive down towards Atlanta.there was a lit of descending. The Audi was flying through the downhills.

In about 3 hours I was in Atlanta. But I spent another hour before I got to my destination in Marrieta. The traffic in Atlanta is crazy everywhere especially in the evenings.

Got lost for a while near the apartments I was going to. Nothing major, just 20 minutes of going round in circles not seeing the entrance even as the GPS showed I’d arrived at my destination.

My friend and former colleague was waiting for me. We hang out and went mall surfing and just hang out.

Surprise surprise, they had Kenyan beer at the local liquor store for $2.29 a bottle. That was really cool to see. There are very many Kenyans in the Atlanta area so that made sense.

I was so tired from all the driving and all I wanted to see was a bed.

Saturday was an easy relaxed day. Kinda chilly though. I managed to buy a tire. I had slow puncture that couldn’t be repaired. That was the first problem with the Audi on the long trip.

I managed to see my cyclists’ hero’s brother an hour away from Atlanta. Thanks Dan. We didn’t know each other personally but his bro helped me allot when I was cycling back in Kenya.

We went out to an Kenyan club in the Marrieta area for a short while. It was fun. I could not stay for long though as I had an early morning start the next day.

I was on the road 6 am on Sunday morning ready for the 800 miles run to Houston. I headed west towards Birmingham, Alabama then onto Jackson, Mississippi. I hit Shreveport, Louisiana early evening. By the time darkness fell I was 60 miles from home. Not too bad. I had been on the road for 13 hours, many monster energy drinks later.

Then I realized I didn’t have lights..Damn.I had to hold the high beam lever for 20 miles before I could find a gas station to try fix the situation. My fuses were ok. I taped my lights and drove with high beam all the way home.

All in all it was a great trip. I covered 2300 miles or 3600 kilometers. I will do this again more often.

I’m still tired from the trip. I took a risk driving my car all the way. It was well worth the risk. I did it alone, it can be done but you need to rest frequently along the trip.

Back to work now after resting.

Thanksto my friends in Atl for the trip memorable.